Read for This Week’s Study: Genesis 41:37-46; 1 Kings 3:12; Genesis 42:1-38; Romans 5:7-11; Genesis 43:1-34; Genesis 44:1-34, Genesis 45:1-28.
Memory Text: “And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt’” (Genesis 41:41, NKJV).
Joseph is now leader of Egypt, and his own brothers will bow before him without knowing who he is (Genesis chapter 42). Joseph’s brothers will humble themselves when Joseph forces them to return with Benjamin (Genesis chapter 43), and — when Benjamin’s safety is, they fear, threatened (Genesis chapter 44) — they will plead for grace before this powerful man, whom they see as “like Pharaoh.” At the end, when Joseph reveals his identity, they will understand that, despite what they had done, God had brought good out of it all.
Interestingly, this whole next sequence of events, which were supposed to be about Joseph’s success, are more about his brothers’ repentance. Their back-and-forth journeys from Joseph to their father, and the obstacles they encounter, made them remember their wicked acts toward Joseph and their father, and they realized their iniquity toward God. Joseph’s brothers live that whole experience as a divine judgment. And yet the moving emotional conclusion, which brings everyone to tears and joy, also contains a message of forgiveness for them, despite their unjustifiable acts of evil.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, June 18.